Auckland-born Billy Apple, who died on Monday aged 85, was one of New Zealand’s most celebrated and significant visual artists, being an Arts Foundation Icon and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Art writer and critic Anthony Byrt said Apple was “one of a kind”. “Another artist once said to me that the real mark of greatness is how much someone makes possible for the people who follow them. By that measure, Billy was one of the genuine greats. Contemporary art in New Zealand wouldn’t have been the same without him.”